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NFL Draft: 2022 Mock Draft - Edge Rushers Continue to Climb

As we near the end of the college football season, college football players and NFL Draft prospects start to rise and fall in the rankings. View the latest first-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

The Latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft

As we near the end of the college football season, college football players and NFL Draft prospects start to rise and fall in the rankings. View the latest first-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

As we near the end of the college football season, college football players and NFL Draft prospects start to rise and fall in the rankings. View the latest first-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

One of the most exciting weekends in college football saw Michigan take down Ohio State and a thrilling matchup in the Iron Bowl. Tons of players have emerged as favorites to be first-round picks and improve their draft stock every week. On the NFL side of things, it's a guarantee that the Lions will find themselves with the first overall picks if they can't win a single game this season. At the same time, a team such as Seattle may be kicking themselves for trading away their pick. 

1. Detroit Lions select Defensive End Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

 Okay, let's bite - Aidan Hutchinson was one of the leading contributors in the Michigan dominating win against Ohio State. He finished the game with three sacks and created pressure on almost every drop back. No one has helped their stock more than Hutchinson. At 6-foot-5 270 pounds, he can play anywhere across the line of scrimmage. Detroit can grab the hometown hero to be a star on this defense. 

2. New York Jets select Defensive End Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

 Joe Douglas will be sprinting to the podium to grab Kayvon Thibodeaux. It's no slight to Thibodeaux being the second pick here. He's still an incredible talent that has dominated with his athleticism. The Jets recently extended John Franklin-Meyers and will pair him with a star in the making. A good young core with former second overall pick Quinnen Williams on the inside. 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars select Safety Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

 The Jaguars are young and developing in some areas, but losing their first-round corner C.J. Henderson hurts this secondary. Hamilton is a swiss army knife in the secondary and can play all over. He's made plays this season that bring flashbacks of the great safeties Ed Reed and Sean Taylor. There are high expectations for this young prospect, but he has all the talent to live up to it. Jaguars need to make sure they find a coaching staff that can keep their young stars engaged. 

4. Houston Texans select Quarterback Matt Corral, Ole Miss

 This roster may not be ready for a rookie quarterback, but I'm not sure they can roll with Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills next season. There needs to be an influx of young talent on both sides of the ball, and they can find a future in Corral. Corral brings a modern-day blend of arm talent and athleticism to fit in any scheme in the NFL. He perfected the RPO at Ole Miss with his deadly quick release. If the Texans can move Watson, they could pair Corral with plenty of young talent on offense. 

5. New York Giants select Offensive Tackle Evan Neal, Alabama

 With Gettleman on the way out, the new general manager will have two high-quality picks to make in his first draft - what's better than securing the trenches and grabbing Evan Neal. He has the versatility to slot in anywhere across the line of scrimmage but fits well at right tackle for this Giants team. Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal are a great pairing to secure a young offensive line. 

6. New York Jets select Offensive Tackle Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

 One of the best run blockers in the country, Ekwonu has shot up draft boards showing his improved ability to block as a pass protector on the edge. Getting his unique athleticism on the edge for this zone running scheme will be huge. The Jets need to protect Wilson and give him the best situation to develop.

7. New York Giants select Defensive End George Karlaftis, Purdue

 After grabbing an edge protector on offense, the Giants get an edge rusher here. If not for Hutchinson, Karlaftis would be the best Big ten edge rusher. He can line up as a 5-tech or stand-up rusher. Lorenzo Carter's contract is up this summer, and Karlaftis can pair well with Azeez Ojulari. Solidifying these positions is the best way to improve this team. 

8. Philadelphia Eagles select Cornerback Derek Stingley, LSU

 It might be the steal of the top ten here. Derek Stingley is a special cornerback prospect that doesn't come around often. A top-tier athlete, Stingley has put up great games against some of the SEC's best competition. If not for a couple of injuries, Stingley may have gone higher, but Stingley shouldn't last long on draft night if all checks out.

9. Atlanta Falcons select Quarterback Sam Howell, North Carolina

 After two stellar underclassmen seasons, Sam Howell came out and may have been a disappointment in eyes around the country. However, there was a ton of roster turnover for the Tar Heels, and one thing Howell did all season was complete. Quarterback play goes beyond the Xs and Os. Evaluators will fall in love with the way this dude plays football. He plays every game like it's his last, and it's hard not to root for him.

10. Washington Football Team selects Cornerback Andrew Booth Jr, Clemson

 This defense isn't the same after its stellar 2020 performance. The young talent across the front seven is special and will continue to improve. However, the secondary play seemed to be a causation of the front seven and offenses caught on. Washington needs a true number one corner, and Andrew Booth is exactly what they need. A playmaker on the outside, Booth has incredible ball skills and quickness to match up against anyone. 

11. Philadelphia Eagles select Offensive Lineman Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

 The second of three first-round picks, the Eagles can add more youth to the trenches with Kenyon Green. He has played both guard and tackle for the Aggies and projects well at both. Lane Johnson is starting to age, and Brandon Brooks hasn't been able to stay healthy - slot Green on the right side somewhere and run behind him. They've found success with their rushing attack with Hurts, Howard, and Sanders. Green will only elevate this line going into next season.

 

12. Carolina Panthers select Offensive Tackle Charles Cross, Mississippi State

 The quarterback carousel has found its way to Carolina. Since 2019 the Panthers have started several quarterbacks, notably Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, and Cam Newton (again). Finding stability across the offensive line has to be a top priority, and Charles Cross will fit in well at left tackle. No matter who's at quarterback, the Panthers need a franchise tackle. 

13. Denver Broncos select Defensive End David Ojabo, Michigan

 Longtime edge rusher Von Miller is gone, and finding his replacement will be extremely difficult. David Ojabo may not be Von Miller, but he's a heck of a player. Ojabo has come on these past few weeks as the Robin to Hutchinson's Batman. Ojabo is quick and long off the edge and gives the Broncos their future starting pass rusher. 

14. Miami Dolphins select Offensive lineman Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

 The Dolphins have not hit on their young offensive line talent just yet and need to protect Tua. Tua has shown he can run this offense when he gets time and has a great feel with former Bama teammate Jaylen Waddle. Kinnard is another lineman with versatility inside and outside that can plug holes for this offense. 

15. Las Vegas Raider select Wide Receiver Treylon Burks, Arkansas

 After losing Henry Ruggs, this offense needs outside threats and Burks may be the best receiver in the class. At 6-foot-3 225 pounds, Burks brings a unique blend of size and speed that defenses need be alert. His catch radius is insane with huge mitts for hands. Give Burks the ball in space, and good things will happen for the Raiders

16. Philadelphia Eagles select Defensive End Travon Walker, Georgia

 A former top recruit, Walker, has been a staple for this Bulldog defense that has been excellent this season. A high motor guy, Walker would be a perfect fit for this defensive front with newly extended Josh Sweat. His production hasn't been eye-popping for the Bulldogs, but he will see that tick-up in the NFL as his best football is ahead of him. 

17. Cleveland Browns select Wide Receiver Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

 The Browns would be thrilled to keep this Buckeye in the state of Ohio. After losing Odell Beckham, the Browns desperately need outside playmakers. Wilson is everything you could ask for with his blend of separation skills, speed, and ability after the catch. 

18. Pittsburgh Steelers select Quarterback Carson Strong, Nevada

 If not for health concerns, Strong would be the first quarterback off the board for me. He doesn't have the athleticism has the other quarterbacks in this class do, but his arm talent and accuracy downfield are great. He moves in the pocket well, finding throwing lanes and avoiding the rush. If doctors clear him, Strong could be the next Steelers quarterback. 

19. New Orleans Saints select Quarterback Malik Willis, Liberty

 Malik has been trending down this season with his play, but if anyone can get the best out of him, it's Sean Payton. Willis has all the talent in the world, but the mental mistakes and accuracy downfield are worrisome. He doesn't need to start right away in New Orleans and can develop in a good system. 

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20. Minnesota Vikings select Cornerback Kaiir Elam, Florida

 With only Cameron Dantzler under contract next season for this cornerback room, the Vikings need an outside playmaker. Kaiir Elam has been one of the only bright spots for the Gators. His size and movement skills project well in the NFL. He has coverage versatility and gives this secondary a true shutdown corner. 

21. Buffalo Bills select Defensive Tackle DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

 Leal falling here isn't a slight against him, but just not too many fits inside the top 20 for a defensive tackle. More than just an interior rusher, Leal can move all over the defensive line to play against matchups and situations. The Bills can solidify this defensive line with more young talent. 

22. Los Angeles Chargers select Wide Receiver Jameson Williams, Alabama

 The Chargers can pair their young quarterback with the nation's top deep threat. Williams is a rocket ready to take off on any play. He makes his presence known downfield and in the short game. Also, he will be an impact returner on special teams. The Chargers need to let Herbert cook and give him another playmaker.

23. Cincinnati Bengals select Offensive Tackle Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

 Passing on Penei Sewell has allowed this team to grab a star in Ja'Marr Chase, yet the offensive line is still a problem. Slide in Trevor Penning on the right side of this line and you can solve multiple problems. A punishing blocker, Penning looks to finish just about every block. Sealing the edge is huge for this outside zone scheme and Penning will be able to do that. 

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Center Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

 If Ryan Jensen isn't brought back this offseason, the Bucs will need a replacement. Linderbaum is the best player on the board here and fills an immediate hole. His ability to get out in space and block downfield is unique for a center prospect. As long as Brady is still playing, keeping him clean is the biggest priority. 

25. Kansas City Chiefs select Safety Daxton Hill, Michigan

 The Chiefs need to find a way to fix this defense. Tyrann Mathieu is a free agent, and Daniel Sorenson can't keep playing meaningful snaps. Daxton Hill can step in and be a difference-maker for this secondary. He's a great athlete that has the range to play any alignment in the backend. Chiefs need playmakers to get the ball back in the hands of Mahomes.

26. New England Patriots select Offensive Tackle Sean Rhyan, UCLA

 If there are any legit holes on this Patriots team, it's at offensive tackle. They've had makeshift versions of what was in place before the season, but they need stability. Sean Rhyan is a staple in the run game for the Bruins with his ability to kick out ends and seal the edge. The Patriots can keep the quick passing game and play-action working while keeping Mac Jones upright.  

27. Detroit Lions select Wide Receiver Chris Olave, Ohio State

 The Lions are finally finding an identity with DeAndre Swift on offense but need to pair the run game with a downfield passing game. Olave is a smooth operator on the outside that brings speed to threaten secondaries. The Lions will more than likely roll with Goff again before finding a young quarterback to take over. Getting a serviceable offense with key weapons is huge for the future of this team. 

28. Dallas Cowboys select Linebacker Devin Lloyd, Utah

 The Cowboys selected another first-round linebacker here, but it's still a need for this defense. Micah Parsons has become an absolute stud for this team and will be a DPOY candidate for years to come. However, with Jaylon Smith gone and Leighton Vander Esch not under contract for next season, the Cowboys need a true off-ball linebacker. Devin Lloyd has improved immensely for the Utes and is great coming downhill and covering in space. 

29. Baltimore Ravens select Cornerback Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati

 The Ravens love to get in the face of receivers and stick their corners in man coverage. No one does that better than Ahmad Gardner. He gets too physical at times but has the skills to be a shutdown outside corner. He's given up zero touchdowns in his career at Cincinnati - the Ravens get a steal here.

30. Green Bay Packers select Defensive End Drake Jackson, USC

 The Packers' defense has been better this season, but they aren't winning off the edge enough. Drake Jackson can step in and create pressure as a stand-up rusher in this Packers scheme. He's long and twitchy, with more refinement as a pass rusher. Jackson could be a double-digit sack guy.

31. Tennessee Titans select Defensive End Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati

 Bud Dupree was a huge signing for this Titans defense, but Sanders could be a great pairing. The second Bearcat defender in the first round, Sanders has wreaked havoc all across the AAC. At 6-foot-5 255 pounds, Sanders is a force off the edge and plays well with his length.

32. Arizona Cardinals select Cornerback Trent McDuffie, Washington

 This season, the Cardinals have been a great story, winning games despite being without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins for multiple weeks. The defense has been excellent with the progress former Huskie Byron Murphy has made. Input another Huskie cornerback in Trent McDuffie, and the Cardinals will be scary to throw against next season. 

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